Near the end of my 160 km ride yesterday I stopped at the local Honda Powersports dealer to chat w/ a friend, a salesman. When I asked if they were planning a "Demo Day" for the new 500s he said "Fill in this form and take that CB500F ABS for a ride."
He didn't have to repeat the offer - I was already 'geared-up', so on w/ my helmet and gloves, adjusted the mirrors, started it, and put it into first gear.
I thought at first that it hadn't gone into gear because the "gronch" we get on our Vs did NOT happen when I pressed the shifter.
The clutch-pull, however, is WAY-Y-Y heavier than the V's.
Pulled away, up thru the gears. NICE tranny...! Power feels good too.
During the 50 kms (30 miles) I rode, I sampled some serious twisties, some normal roads, plus a section of BC Hwy 33 where I 'ran it thru the gears', near redline in the lower ones, to about 140 kph. While it doesn't have the same 'roll-on' capability our Vs have - it DID get there pretty quickly.
I found the handling to NOT be up to MY V's handling (don't forget I've modded BOTH ends, including an R1 shock, on mine), but very close to what I remember it WAS back then.
The seat/ pegs/ handlebars relationship seems quite close to the V's (tho' w/ a lower seat height - I could easily 'flat-foot'), and the 'step' in the seat seems the SAME place, tho' the seat didn't force me into the tank. In addition it has nice stainless steel 'fairings' below the engine where our bikes have the plastic ones.
I made a point of grabbing a handful of brakes (I'm sure I didn't get into the ABS...) at least once, and the brakes felt PDG. On this model - the F (naked) - the instruments are low enough to be ALMOST not in your view w/out glancing down, but they are a surprisingly complete LCD set, kind of 'bluish' on this model (yellow on the other two). Besides the speedo there are several odometers, an "L" shaped tach, and a trip computor that gives (selectable...) either kms/L or L/ 100 km, and a clock that's always in view
One annoyance came from two "points-of-light" that showed up on the instruments at times, caused by the sun reflecting from the chromed bolts holding the handle-bars on.
Pretty sure that these would not happen on the other two models because while the instruments are low and close to horizontal on the F, they're angled more and higher on the other two models.
During the ride the trip computor was giving me a reading around 24.6 km/L, LESS than I was expecting to get (in fact I filled up the GREEN HORNET after I returned the 500F, and got 25.5 km/L over the 245 kms I'd ridden, and that's WITH all the mods I've done, including 'soft' bags).
I removed the seat to inspect the storage - looks very close to the V's underseat, and the 500s gas-up like the V - NO underseat filler (
All-in-all a pretty good motorcycle from Honda, tho' I find it interesting that it's considered a "beginners" bike: it weighs about 424# w/ 45 HP, while, back-in-the-day the Bonneville at 400# had 40 HP and was thought of as an "experts" bike.
So-o-o, pros and cons:
Pro - gear box
; power ; brakes ; handling ; looks ; and comfort.
Con - clutch pull
; reflections on instruments
; and a bit much forward lean when NOT at highway speeds.